Sunday, May 31, 2015

A Tale of Teen Siblings

The photo above is of the new ring that was installed inside LaFollette Park's boxing gym.  Te'Ria asked me, "Where are the steps?"  "It is off of the floor.  Besides, the ceiling is too low for the ring to be too high," I pointed out.  The ropes have been stretched very tight, so I usually just roll into the ring under the bottom rope when I have to get inside.

Shanita and Julius showed up an entire full hour before their class started.  Luckily for them, none of the younger kids showed up for their class time.  The siblings were able to get in two hours and a half of a workout.  As usual, Shanita was the one pumped up to learn, while her brother had to constantly be told to show some more motivation.  There used to be a soap opera parody on TV back in the 1970's called "All That Glitters".  It imagined what the world would look like if women were the shot-callers and men were considered second class citizens because of their gender.  Every time both Shanita and I get on Julius about being focused and training correctly, I feel like I'm in an episode of that show.

You see, Shanita is very much a tomboy, while her brother is the more mild-mannered type.  She is very athletic, a wiry teenager with a lot of energy.  Julius is not fat, but her brother is a little husky.  Julius doesn't give the impression of being very athletic or even rough-and-tumble like some teenage boys act.  However, he does seem to be getting the hang of things better.  During sparring, he caught Shanita in her head and face more than a few times.  For whatever reason, Shanita has been dropping her hands and hanging against the ropes for much of the rounds.  When the 30 second bell rings, then she wants to do some damage.  Julius can't often answer her punches when she puts the pressure on.

I've been having those two hold the punch mitts for each other.  It's impressive to see how fast Shanita picked up on holding the mitts correctly.  Julius needs a little more practice.  When his sister starts throwing heavy punches, Julius is usually not prepared to catch them and do a little push back.   Shanita was admonished by Julius for hitting the mitts too hard.  Then her brother complained to me about "my arms are hurting".  "You've got to be ready for when those punches come in, Julius," I said.

Before the siblings came in, I did about twenty minutes of exercise.  I'm determined to make that a new habit of exercising at least that much time four to five days out of the week.  The medicine I've been taking for my arthritic knees appears to be working, so I'm able to move better.  Plus, I have to be in somewhat decent shape to keep up with the youths, as well as the adults who will be using the gym soon.  Shanita suggested that I spar with her and Julius at some point.  I have to think about it.  But if I do decide to do that, I want to have some stamina.

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